People all around the United States like to play golf. Whether they go to local public golf courses or if they prefer more exclusive golf clubs, millions of people play the sport. In addition to that millions more watch it on television.
Now, the PGA is looking to make the experience of watching live golf even more interactive. Tech Crunch is reporting on a new app they have developed using the AR platform from Apple. They are reporting that this new technology is going to make the experience of watching players on gold courses much more fun than merely watching the televised tournaments.
AR stands for “augmented reality.” The PGA Tour is touting their new app as a better way for golf fans to experience watching the tournements. They say that it will do more to bring the golf courses themselves into fans’ homes, by letting them see the golf courses and all of the holes at home and still have an experience that more closely mimics attenting the sports events live. They can look at the individual holes and compare the pros who are playing.
Golf cans can pick the players who are their favorites and compare their playing style, their strokes, and see how long their drives went. They can even see how far their ball was from the put when they got the ball in. The app is still in its beta testing phase so users can only see a small number of holes that have been selected by the PGA Tour but they will expand that. This kind of coverage availabilbity has a start date of March 15, 2018. The fist tournament covered will be the rnold Palmer Invitational. The first hole covered will be the 6th and will have the full treatment on the AR platform.
There are few sports for which AR tecnology can have many uses. Some people who are knowledgeble about the app have compared it to a “second-screen” experience. People using the app can get a lot from the added content that is inlcuded in the app. This makes the whole experience of watching golf on televison much more interactive. People at home will even have access to more content and information than people who are at the golf courses where the tournements are happening as well.
Rick Anderson, the CMO for the PGA Tour, said that this new AR technology can bring a more 3D experience to people watching at home. He says that this will give watchers of golf a better chance to really experience the golf course in a way that may not be apparent by watching on television alone.
One reason this process is available to the PGA Tour when it may not be for other sports is that they already have models of the golf courses they use that were created using laser technology. They already use animations in television coverage of the tournements. The app adds to the experience by allowing people to see the layout of the golf courses themselves. One of the things that makes each tournement unique is the layout of the golf course.
From an AR perspective, the use of the technology by the PGA Tour is considered more “low hanging fruit.” This does show some of the new opportunities for its use by other organizations. As used by the PGA Tour, this is a standalone experience but it is conceivable that other organzations may take what has been done for the PGA Tour and build on it.